tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 22, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EDT
part of obama care only subsidized it. didn't change it. just subsidized it. >> ari melber, the closer, gets tonight's last word. cruising for a bruisen? let's play "hardball." ♪ >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, invasion of the body snatchers. the soul of a major american political party is suddenly up for grabs. party of lincoln and the emancipation proclamation of theodore roosevelt and the american conservation movement. the party of ronald ration who signed the deal with -- that eliminates nuclear weapons could be going ballistic. ted cruz talks in brinksmanship
terms about shutting down the american government. he speaks in cold war terms of not blinking when it happens. letting the government drop before him as he gazes on in cold contempt. he uses the tactics of joe mccarthy suggesting now defense secretary chuck hagel, a fellow republican, might be an agent of this country's enemies. iran and north korea. will the republicans fight back? will they refuse to let their party's soul be grabbed by this new hard right that harkens back to the worst methods of the early 1950s? will they or let the cruzs and pauls and the rest dictate the new terms of political warfare in this country where no one blinks even when the u.s. government defaults on its debts, goes bankrupt and leaves the world's creditors to pick up the pieces. michael tomaski and jim moore.
let's talk about this thing now with ted cruz. let's take a look at what happened last night and what happened there. let's talk about republicans by the way, before we get to some of the pictures who care about winning in the future, some of the extreme tactics by people like ted cruz and others like threatening government shutdown in order to defund the affordable care act makes them nervous. here's what republican strategist mike murphy -- and he's one of the smart guys out there -- here's what he told the washington post. the party, the republican party is acting as if the entire world is a gop primary. that is a very dangerous way to operate. we have massive image problems with the greater electorate. and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse. mike murphy is a smart guy. he has to win elections. what's cruz up to. >> running for presidency. >> winning the presidency on the hardest right we've seen. >> i doubt he's going to win the presidency. but i wouldn't put it past him winning the nomination. he's a very shrewd guy.
he had 1,000 people there last night. he knows what he's doing. he knows what he's saying. picking obama care as his issue to go after, that is the reddist of the red meat for those folks. >> going after a matter of law. it is an act of law. it is not just obama care. the affordable care act of 2010. let's take a look. you brought it up. here's last night, ted cruz rallied the base as you said against any attempts to compromise on health care or in his words blink. there's the language of the cuban missile crisis. don't blink. let's watch. >> what happens next is president obama and harry reid are going to scream and yell those mean nasty republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government. what has to happen after that is we've got to do something that conservatives haven't done in a long time. we've got to stand up and win the arguments.
if you have an impasse you want to know one side or the other has to blink. how do we win this fight? don't blink. >> jim moore, what's the appeal of that cuban missile crisis lingo where the soviets blinked and they took out their missiles? is it that way now? it's not american politics and debate anymore. it's down to basically cold war brinkmanship. we want to bring down the government to win. >> chris, i think it's the same thing happening here that has been happening all along for senator cruz. he sort of has become the defacto brand for the republican party. and when he starts into this sort of nonsense, he ends up being the image that the rest of america gets about republicans. and people like lamar alexander and everybody else who is complaining about all of this, they are offering him this vacuum because they are unwilling to anger the folks that are going to vote in the primary by going out and offering some leadership instead, they're letting cruz
become their voice to get the base fired up which is good for cruz, but as everybody has suggested, it just isn't good for the republican party and the general election. when you start this stuff about blinking, you end up with confrontation that doesn't get resolved and leaves the country in a standoff mess. >> you're talking about a guy actually running for president and using this language and actually asking the american people i guess implicitly to give him the nuclear football. give him the buttons, give him the codes. a guy like that who talks and thinks like this in these cold war terms given the power to blow us up. i mean, at what point do you separate just good rhetoric and rabble-rousing with possibly governing this country? that's my question to you, jim. could some people say give him the power? >> well, the problem with this whole don't blink -- >> who would say that? >> i think the problem with this whole don't blink ideology and a person who isn't very bright says that.
i think mr. senator cruz's intellect is wildly overrated at this point because it's easy to go out and agitate people and get them fired up. but the problem with all of this is, if you're going to stand there and not blink, you end up with a country that doesn't have a government, that doesn't have funding, that doesn't have the services that it normally provides. and if he wants to shut down the government, he has the military and everything else to worry about. largely if you ask me, this is wildly irresponsible on his part. and the republican party needs to do something about mitigating what he's doing to their party and ultimately what he could do to to this country and its government. >> cruz said republicans need to turn the argument around on president obama and he says, make him responsible for the government. some weird logic there because he insists on funding his health care law. it's the president's fault he wants to carry out the law. he said the idea the government shutdown was such a bad things in the '90s was is overblown. let's get this straight. he's not just talking about a government shutdown. he's talking about default, the
chinese asking for our money back, we're finished. >> he's talking about the whole thing. this kind you have rhetoric just grows and grows and it builds like a snow ball rolling down the hill. you can't stop it because it demands -- >> why do you think, michael, it's working? why is it working with the angrily nasty right? >> they demand absolute purity. lamar alexander very consecutive -- conservative voting record. he voted to confirm a couple of these people and boom, that's it. >> let's hear the pitch. ted cruz down in texas the other night. >> if president obama decides that he's going to force a partial temporary government shutdown, and it's worth noting the last time that happened, we saw number one the parade of horrible people like to talk about on tv that didn't happen. what happened was a temporary suspension of nonessential federal government spending. >> well, that's, of course, what happens if he does blink.
of course, what this is ridiculous. let's play around with this nuclear button for awhile and see what happens. if you don't do it, it doesn't do it. but if both sides take that point of view, what happens? >> then we do have a shutdown. >> and default and it keeps going. >> i think obama is going to stand this time. he knows he caved in 2011. i think he's going to stand a little tougher. most people will blame the republicans. most people know the republicans are saying no to everything and causing more trouble. >> jim you said something. he's not the oldest guy in the world. i'm older than him, obviously. i was thinking, jim, does he have any history under his belt? he came from an interesting background. i'm with him and his family about having his father's country stolen from him by the communists and cuba. having your country stolen from you isn't something you forget. any time in your life. i'm with him on that. he has a sense of the blink because that's cuban missile crisis lingo. i'm with him on that. does he have a sense of who joe mccarthy was, how tricky the cuban missile crisis ended up to be, how close it came?
and it took khrushchev and kennedy to work it out, people did agree to agree under the table to agree with the jupiter missiles in turkey. they found a way to work it out. that's a story of compromise, not blowing up the world or brinksmanship by both sides saying let's not blow up the world. does he know that? does this guy know that? >> i think, i don't know if he does. i think though that to the extent that your parents experience often informs your politics, we get a sort of twisted thing with him. one is the cuba thing. but on the other hand, he comes into the world into a country with socialized medicine probably at a public system that he is now denouncing in this country having. but if he has that kind of background, that kind of perspective, it's been closely held, chris, because he was a solicitor general, a low profile guy. he came out of nowhere. and i think his election ends up being an anomaly simply because
of the fact that if it weren't for the runoff, if it weren't for a poorly run campaign by the lieutenant governor and a vote in july and the tea party turnout, he would not have won. >> again, i want to make the point, if you make any reference to blinking in american politics, anybody knows the history of not blinking, goes back to dean rusk, the i think the other side blinked. he decided not to the push it and stand up to the military because he was able to get a concession. you pull your missiles out of cuba, we'll pull them out of turkey. it was under the table and ended up working. i want to go to something that bothers me about this guy. it's the way he's used the tricks of joe mccarthy. i want to go back to what he said about chuck hagel who is a centrist. chuck hagel is not a right winger or left winger. he's a moderate republican nebraska. not exactly the westside of new york. he's a moderate. look at the language he used at him when he wanted to shoot this guy down. i've been accused him of mccarthy tactics. here he was at the nomination
hearing for hagel back in february and cruz can relied on innuendo and guilt by association. let's watch him in action. this is mccarthy stuff. >> we saw with his nomination something truly extraordinary which is the government of iran formally and publicly praising the nomination of a defense secretary. i would suggest to you that to my knowledge, that is unprecedented to see a foreign nation like iran publicly celebrating a nomination. >> jim, he went on to say that the guy may have taken money from north korea, too. he may be working for them. this is chuck hagel, our now secretary of defense. he may have been working for north korea. he may have been an agent of the iranians. doesn't he know that kind of talk is not acceptable? that it is joe mccarthy? doesn't he know this? you can't talk like this in america? i accept the fact decent american born in canada, but this kind of talk i don't think is the way we talk in this country. your thoughts.
>> we have some vile politics down here in texas from time to time. but this, this kind of language has transcended even the things that you see down here. and as you know, chris, the races down here can get about as nasty as they get anywhere. and senator cruz has sort of taken this thing way out to the edge. and he's made the middle very uncomfortable. i'm talking about texas conservatives. i'm not talking about conservatives outside of this state. he's making people very uncomfortable in his home state. >> chris, he knows what he's doing. he knows exactly what he's doing. you should have seen the right wing on twitter after he said those things about haggle. they fell in love with him then. he knows what he's doing. >> so do we. thank you michael and jim moore. thank you for coming on for a look at this guy when there's still time to do something about him. coming up, the hard lurch to the right means the party's over for a growing number of republicans. now the co-chairman of the polk county iowa republican party in des moines has resigned bauds he
says the gop has veered too far right for him. and condones hateful speech he says. that's next. and if at first you don't succeed, secede. some tea partiers in northern colorado want to carve out their own right wing state. because they've decided colorado is too liberal. finally, the last of the nixon tapes. president nixon hears about dirty tricks from a former president, george herbert walker bush. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
we've talked a lot about congress's automatic across the board spending cuts are having very real damaging effects on people around the country. more evidence this week of the extent of that damage. catch this, the department of health and human services reports more than 57,000 children have been forced out of head start through the funding cuts of that program. one of the great programs, head start. head start helps lower income children as you all know under the age of five get a leg up so they can start school with the other kids. the budget cut hit head start with the biggest cut in funding since the program started in '65. that's bad news. we'll be right back. the physical damage was pretty bad. the emotional toll was even worse. our daughter had nightmares. what that robber really took from us was our peace of mind. with adt, we got it back. [ male announcer ] every 14.6 seconds, a burglary takes place in the united states. so rely on the fast alarm response adt.
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fed up republicans who are actually leaving the party, included one life long republican county chairman who resigned just recently in disgust. first there's the former gop staffer and cancer survivor currently without health insurance because of all things, his sleep apnea was considered a pre-existing condition. he says he will absolutely sign up for the affordable care act's exchanges and says the gop's fight against the health care law has left him too dismayed to call himself a republican. of the republican threeiatrics he says we have people treating government like a broadway play, some sort of entertainment. and then in virginia, a long-time republican consultant jumped the party. endorsing democrat terry mcauliffe for governor becoming an advisor to the campaign. perhaps most telling of all in the place on the u.s. map that's ground zero for presidential campaigns and that's iowa, in polk county the gop co-chair resigned from the party writing in part, i changed my voter registration to independent today. severing all ties to the
republican party. i'm disappointed with the republican party at the national level. i'm disappointed with the republican party at the state level. i'm disappointed with the republican party at the county wide level. i find it increasingly difficult to defend issues and statements made by party leaders and officials from all three levels. the last straw for this former republican, iowa congressman steve king's explanation for why he opposes immigration reform like the d.r.e.a.m. act. >> for everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. >> official republican position on marijuana immigration and hispanics. anyway, former polk county iowa gop co-chair chad brown joins me along with the great dana milbank. chad, i think this steve king thing is so fraught with stuff. here's a guy whose brain puts together this weird simultaneous equation.
people come across the border from mexico or somewhere else all of a certain size, but they're that big wide legs that he compares to of all the fruits in the world, cantaloupe and their carrying 75 pounds of marijuana. i was trying to figure out how much 75 pounds of marijuana would look like. it would be bigger than this whole room. 75 pounds. how does he put his head around all these negative thoughts just to show how much contempt he has for latinos? i think you're smiling because i'm smiling it's so hideous. it isn't bad political thinking, it's weird. your thoughts. tell me why you quit the party, by the way. >> well, it was a decision that was very personal for me. i spoke with several friends, family members, a pastor. i felt uncomfortable with a lot of the hateful rhetoric, and with these issues, the immigration issue, for example. it's the rhetoric, and not just
from the representative king but social media is everywhere with real just rhetoric that's hostile. it's one thing to disagree with president obama's immigration plan. i personally disagree with portions of it, but to go after the children, to go after immigrants crossing the border. and plus more than half the immigrants don't even cross the border, this he overstay their visas. so it is surprising and upsetting and becomes increasingly difficult to back a party that continues down this road. >> chad, when did it hit you in the head that the party had shifted? i mean, was it the arrival of obama that just people couldn't stand the idea he's president? what is it that made them flip in the direction that made you say i can't follow these guys anymore? >> well, you know, i've been a lifelong republican. i was very happy to vote for
senator dole, senator mccain. i voted for romney in 2012 because i felt that he was the right man for the job between the two. but i will say that the republican party that used to espouse the big tent of president eisenhower, even president reagan has shifted so far to the right now that it's disturbing really to i felt uncomfortable at several meetings with other republicans because of the rhetoric. and so i decided to make the change. i was looking into it for, oh, several months now. but in particular, the deafening silence of -- in response to republican representative steve king's remarks. that was the last straw i would say. >> you know, dana, you're pretty good at satire. it's hard to beat the band with this stuff. i sometimes think what's more embarrassing to the gop these days, not in history, the stuff they put in their platform which
they don't want to believe anymore about abortion rights and gay rights. so out of date. but the stuff they say in the back room when nobody's supposed to be watching. the 47% stuff, the obama hates white people, the steve king crazy stuff. you wonder, is it impulsive stuff that just comes out of them or stuff they type out and think about? what's worse. >> there always seems to be a tape recorder in these rooms. >> it's the bartender sometimes. >> they might want to be wise to this. i think that's whapg here -- what's happening here is this is reaction to something that's been going on for some time. the republican party has been crumbling for some period of time analogous when the democratic party crumbled in the south. you didn't realize how bad it was until all of a sudden things really started to pick up like this. you've got a lot of people main street republicans chamber of commerce republicans, the phrase i'm hearing all the time is i'm a republican but. there's like, they're not democrats. you don't hear this man becoming a democrat.
but they're saying i don't belong in this party anymore and don't know the quite what to do. they don't seem to have the ability to change it. >> you know, chad, back in the 1950s, a lot of people where i grew up in pennsylvania near the suburbs, we grew up in the city, but near the suburbs a lot of people switches their registration from right wing republican to independent. they were still eisenhower republicans but they felt there was too much right wing action. tell me why you went independent, not democrat. that's interesting. >> well, i'm still looking, but with the independents, i'm still conservative. i would consider myself conservative by 1980s standards. >> let me test you, chad. you're on "hardball" here. suppose chris christie got the nomination for your party. i don't think he's going to get it. i think the party's way too right wring for him. suppose he won the nomination. would you be a republican again? >> i would have to see who the democrats would nominate.
>> okay. >> chris christie, that would be impossible. he'll never get the nomination. at least not in iowa. at the caucuses. there's just no chance, no support at all for him. >> not in your state. forget that. how about if he wins because of new hampshire and other states? how about if it's hillary clinton against chris christie? are you a republican, a democrat or an independent? what are you? come on. >> when i was growing up, it was more about the economy and taxes and now it's -- now that i have a child, i look at education. that's very important. i look at the gun issue. the gun lobby, for example. i would have to look at hillary clinton. >> yeah. she's better on guns. you got it. is that the party? that's what you're seeing out there. >>s extraordinary. i think chad is trying to say he's not a democrat. he's not changed to some liberal. he's the same conservative he always was.
but even a conservative republican is finding it very difficult to be republican. >> let me tell you what i just heard there, hillary clinton will appeal to the middle. i think she will. she's more hawkish than obama. tough on foreign policy and i think she's more with the constituency of the democratic party than obama is. i think the clintons have held strong here in these last five years. anyway, chad brown, thank you, sir. good luck in your party picking and dana and your independents and dana milbank with your sarcasm. a very important programming note. starting monday you can watch "hardball" exclusively at 7:00 eastern. for those of you who watch us at 5:00 eastern, next week you'll need to tune in at 7:00. don't worry. i'll keep reminding you of that all week. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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time for our big sideshow tonight. the nixon library released the final batch of white house tapes today. over 3,000 hours of recordings that cover vietnam, china, and, of course, watergate. historians will be combing through the recordings for a long time to come. we found an oval office conversation that took place between president nixon and a young can george herbert walker bush, the senior bush, the chairman of the republican national committee at the time. listen to how chairman bush broaches the delicate subject of dirty tricks. asking president nixon whether he should divulge the information he has, that is bush has, directly to the president or if he should go to henry peterson who was investigating watergate for the justice department. take a listen. >> would you rather not know details if i told you something or would you rather i tell peterson something that i know. >> no, you tell me. i can tell peterson. >> is he involved because he was in the dirty tricks department? >> wow. the conversation continues as
bush continues to report on the activities of ken reitz a former youth director for the campaign but who worked at the national committee at the time of this conversation. >> he said that he was involved in handling large sums of money which cash money. he says that he was involved in doing some espionage on muskie and stuff like that. and he said that -- >> what did he do? >> i didn't go into it. i didn't go into it. see i just -- >> i talked to peterson about all that. he said there's no problem on that because everybody's fine with everybody else. they don't use electronic devices. >> i don't know whether he did or not. all i know is -- >> i don't know. >> bugging. there's nixon talking about bugging, electronic snooping. "the new york times" reported that month in 1973, that reitz had been the pay master for a $450 a month spy operation group.
how dare the administration imply that they're going to get to the bottom of it. this was the targeting of the president's political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn't discovered till afterwards. for years, the president bashed the tea party groups. he was very public against these groups. and on his behalf, be perhaps not on his request, on his behalf, the irs executed a delaying tactic against the very groups that he talked about. >> anyway, welcome back to "hardball." that was darrell issa, head of the house oversight committee as you saw there. he has repeatedly tried to link the irs' targeting of conservative groups to the white house. he's failed to do it every single time. to this point, his witch hunt has found no witches. not in the white house.
the entire narrative of this reputed scandal has gotten hard to follow. in fact, is it a scandal? yesterday house democrats released new evidence that the rs was also targeting liberal groups in addition to flagging groups with names like progressive. they also flagged applicants using terms like emerge and a.c.o.r.n., a group on the left associated with liberal causes. issa's camp had dismissed those reports which could be evidence he's using the issue to score political points instead of trying to solve whatever problems there are at the irs. u.s. congressman chris van hollen, my congressman, is on the issue today. he announced he's filing a lawsuit against the irs which would attempt to the clarify the murky tax law which led to this brouhaha in the first place. he's arguing the law as originally written says that tax exempt groups must be exclusively involved in social warfare, in other words, no politics. translation if you want to be a tax extent 501 c4, organization, you can't do anything political.
problem solved. van hollen is the ranking member on the budget committee and joins us right now. congress mapman, thank you for joining us. i got you this morning. watching you on chuck's show, "political rundown." i thought that was the answer, just stop giving any of these tax benefits to people if they're involved in politics. treat them like 501 c 3s. you can't do it. >> and the law's been clear. issa is operating in a fact free zone. we know the irs was looking at political groups both on the right and on the left. why is the irs trying to determine if you as an organization are involved mostly in social welfare activities or political activities? because they have a regulation that says that if your primary purpose is social welfare, then you could also do politics. that regulation as you just said is totally inconsistent with the way the law is written. the law is clear, if you want to be involved as a 501 c4, you're exclusively involved in social welfare activities. no politics.
why has -- this is an old regulation. it's come to matter more since the citizens united case, supreme court case. what they said is corporations included nonprofits could all of a sudden dump millions of dollars into campaigns. so if they allowed some of this political activity, they could dump millions of dollars. >> one of the nice things having my job, you may resent it, i can't give a political contribution of five bucks. i can't give a nickel. because i can't, it keeps my simple. people say can you help? i say no, i can't. i don't want people to think i've given money. tax laws should be written that way. >> the law itself was. the law says if you look up your statute if you want to be a 051 c4 organization, you can only exclusively engage in social welfare activities. somehow, when the regulators back in 1959 wrote the regulations, they totally murdered the plain meaning of the law. they said exclusive doesn't mean exclusive. it means primary.
that's the root of the problem. >> the moral issue, people that work hard for a living, work with their hands. they've got to pay taxes. >> that's right. >> why should a group out there playing politics not pay taxes? it seems if you've got a political agenda, pay for it. don't ask the government to pay for it. that gets to the question, you can give all the money if you're wealthy to a politician but you can't get a tax break for it. there's a principle involved. the government doesn't subsidize elections. why did they creep into the woodwork here where some organizations whatever they were called, they thought we got a an opening a loophole here. we can start doing politics promoting candidates and not pay taxes. >> well, i mean, the regulation, this loophole left the door open to groups whether you're on the right or the left to do that. the reason they use this one is because you can do it secretly without telling the public who is funding the campaign. if you want to engage in politics, you can spend as much money as you want. file under section 527.
that's all tax exempt. that organization -- >> could the president do this, i hate to sound like a real lefty. sometimes the lefties are right. is this something the president could do by executive order? call the irs, stop giving tax exempt status to anybody playing politics. that's what the law says. i want it enforced. >> certainly the irs -- >> why can't the attorney general do this. >> the irs could certainly take review the regulations and say we want to conform the regulation. we petition the irs, some groups did two years ago to do exactly that. they haven't done it yet. which is why you need a lawsuit. just conform with the law. >> chris van hollen. for more i'm joined by the great nia-malika henderson. nobody covers elections and government better than "the washington post." i'm looking at these numbers right now. it just seems to me as right as the congressman was on the facts i believe, that the public knowledge is so murky and so confused, there's been so much nonsense thrown. look at this, in june of this
year, 47% blame the white house. back in may, a month before it was only 37%. increasingly in this fog of political war, the white house is getting blamed for something they probably had nothing to do with. >> that's right. you've had republicans run a very effective campaign on this issue of the irs and sort of essentially saying that the white house culture of corruption led to this whole scandal at the irs. it turns out not to be much of a scandal. the whole idea the irs was targeting not only tea party groups but progressive groups started to come out in the summer. you feel also that the white house was in some ways caught off guard by this. they came out very slow in some ways to respond to this. you remember president obama had the press conference. he said he learned about the whole thing in the paper. there's sort of legal reasons why he couldn't comment or know about this early on. but ity republicans have been very effective and now they are doing something else with this and linking the irs to obama
care and saying that you know, the irs is going to have access to all of this personal information as they implement obama care, not true. but it doesn't prevent them from using the whole idea of the irs as sort of propaganda. >> a tough question. you saw the movie "the war room," about the '92 campaign. >> i actually didn't see it. but you told me about it. >> it's good. about james carville and george stephanopoulos. they knew how to take care of a candidate. something happened within the news cycle, back again. does the white house have a war room? >> you know, it doesn't seem like they have much of a war room. you've talked about this, chris, the whole idea of this president sort of not really being up for the kind of political engagement that you saw, for instance, from clinton. he doesn't like the politics part of it. and politics is a tough game. it ain't bean bag. oftentimes you feel like this is a white house that is slow to punch back. and i think in this case with
the irs, when you are republicans. >> they should have jumped on it and be said we're going to move on this thing. by the way, if hilary clinton gets in there, there will be a war room. >> yes, there will be. >> thank you nia-malika henderson. up next, secession fever. some tea partiers in colorado want to break away and form their own state. please remember starting next monday, by the way, we're not seceding. we're going to 7:00 eastern. i know that means adjusting your evening ritual. tune in at 7:00 eastern for the real thing. this is "hardball," the place for politics. she loves a lot of the same things you do.
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ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. you're not going to believe this one. republicans in louisiana want to blame president obama for the government's inept response to hurricane katrina down there. three years before he took office it occurred. well a new ppp poll of louisiana republicans finds that 29% of the republicans in louisiana say president obama was more responsible for the poor response to katrina. while 28%, one less, pin the blame on george w. bush who was actually president at the time. another 44% to show the murkiness in the big easy say they're not sure who to blame. think about it. the worst thing that's happened and they can't remember which president to blame. they should blame "w". barack obama of course, was a freshman united states senator in 2005 when katrina blew down the doors of new orleans. while president bush praised his
i think we're trying to make a statement to the legislature and the governor who have been extremely tone deaf to the concerns of my constituents in particularly weld county but throughout northeastern colorado. i will tell you this. everybody views this as a partisan exercise. many of those commissioners are democrats. >> we're back. that was weld county, colorado board commissioner mike freeman explaining why his county in
colorado is making plans or trying to secede from the state of colorado and form the 51st state. on monday freeman's weld county board of commissioners voted unanimously to put secession on the countywide ballot this coming november. that's this fall. weld county is one of several rural counties in northeastern colorado. i think we're trying to make a statement to the legislature and the governor who have been extremely tone deaf to my constituents throughout north and northeastern colorado and i will tell you this. everyone views this as a partisan exercise. many of those commissioners are democrats. >> that was weld county, colorado, mike freeman explaining why his county in colorado is making plans or trying to anyway to secede from the state of colorado and form the 51st state. on monday freeman's weld county board of commissioners voted unanimously to put secession on the countywide ballot this coming november, that's this fall. weld county is one of several
rural counties in northeastern colorado, you see it there on the map, can considering secession. officials say progressive legislation who control the governorship down in denver, things like gun safety and renewable energy measures, ignores the interests of their communities. but seceding from the state of colorado would require more than just a vote by the citizens of the county, obviously. both colorado state legislature and, most importantly, the united states congress, the senate and the house, would need to approve the partition proposal. secession is not likely to happen anytime. our "hardball" reporter has been covering the secession movement and katie is from out in colorado. benjy, you've been enthusing me with this strange story. i heard weld say this is a statement. is it a statement like jefferson davis had a statement which was real, or is it a statement simply to poke politically at the people in denver? what's he up to? what are they up to? >> as you said, this isn't coming true anytime soon. fun to come up with the names for it. at least not soon, all right? it's going to be a while. the context here is that the republican party in colorado is basically the ghost of christmas future for the national gop. they've been bleeding support from women, from latinos, from young voters. they've essentially imploded. democrats have complete control of state government right now for pretty much the first time in generations, and they're using it to pass a really robust, progressive agenda that includes bills on just this year
gun control, renewable energy that's really ticked off the rural areas, civil unions. it's a long list. so at its heart, this is a political dispute here. it's a very jarring situation for some of these voters. the district attorney in weld county is buck who ran for senate as the tea partier and blew the election, compared homosexuality to alcoholism. and now they're passing civil unions just a few years later. but at its heart, one way to approach this is they could can say, well, we just need to win back those seats and just run a bunch of moderate republicans who can win back those unaffiliated voters. instead they're basically declaring bankruptcy. we give up. it's not going to happen. >> let me go to katie atkinson. you had moderate liberalism with people like gary hart out there and then going to the right occasionally. what is colorado's politics?
is it gary hart? is it hip liberal? what is it? is it michael bennet? a little bit more sophisticated and more modern? what is it? >> it swings. if there's anything colorado hates is an extremist. if they think you're extreme on the left or extreme on the right, they won't vote for you and they're convinced -- they've been convinced lately that the republican candidates they've been presented with were extreme on the right and they've gone to the left. >> if ken buck had not won that nomination, he wouldn't be the senator from out there. a moderate republican or more centrist republican would have won, that's your thinking? >> the woman who ran in the primary against him, i think, probably could have won that. she was incredibly conservative. the fact that they painted her as a moderate really makes you chuckle. a very conservative woman. she might very well have won that race. unfortunately, my crystal ball wasn't working at the time so i can't guarantee it. >> you know, the democrats make these mistakes now and then,
too. they run somebody way too liberal and you get jesse helms for 36 years, right? so both parties -- >> they swing too far. >> right. and then that's one of the interesting things here is that they really have given republicans an opening in colorado. the governor's approval rating has been dropping. there's some signs people are upset with this rapid pace but unless you win over those swing voters and convince them that it's safe to come back to the republican party -- >> you know what smart politicians do? bill clinton went at that far when he got to little rock and then he moved back to the center. hillary called herself mrs. clinton. made some adjustments. changed her glasses, did things like that. adjusted to the culture. it's connecting to the center. >> absolutely. and here is what we're seeing in colorado. probably the worst time to be governor is when both houses of the legislature are under the control of your party. i think a lot of what we've been seeing happening at the legislative level is not particularly something the governor wanted to see. the governor has had a very difficult time trying to manage
the legislature. >> we'll have you back on that. thank you so much, katie atkinson and my colleague here benjy sarlon. sion commercials. yep, there i am with flo. hoo-hoo! watch it! [chuckles] anyhoo, 3 million people switched to me last year, saving an average of $475. [sigh] it feels good to help people save... with great discounts like safe driver, multicar, and multipolicy. so call me today. you'll be glad you did. cannonbox! [splash!]
let me finish tonight with this. it's hard to find political sanity these days. some balanced view of things that also points to what's best in this country, what is not good in this country and what we can do to make things better for the future. on this program "hardball" i've tried to do that, tried to
support america's interests in the world especially our own security while realizing the limits on what any good government can do when it comes to our privacy and civil liberties. i've tried to support a woman's constitutional right but also express my belief that the best, most successful away to reduce abortions is to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancy and put it on the responsibility of those who are those most responsible for unplanned pregnancies, for unprotected sex, men. i believe the pro-life people should spend more time acting on the takeoff and not just the landing, as much time thinking about the men responsible as they do putting the heat on the woman left responsible. i've tried to be balanced in had this matter of stop and frisk, respecting the danger of good police work and our desire especially those who live in tough neighborhoods to have police doing their job which includes respecting the people they take the responsibility to protect.